Study Day: “Capitalism and Post-Slavery—For a Caribbean Critique of Political Economy”


[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this event to our attention.] A study day organized around the topic “Capitalism and Post-Slavery—For a Caribbean Critique of Political Economy” will take place on October 2, 2019, at Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (located at 54 boulevard Raspail) in Paris 6, France. See a translated description and the full program below.

Description/Rationale: In the conclusion of his book Capitalism and Slavery, now celebrating its 75th anniversary, Eric Williams declared that the thesis he defended—on the centrality of logics and slavery practices in the emergence of industrial capitalism—although demonstrated solely with the British example, had a “generic” value to the extent that it could be supported equally well with the French case. This barely-outlined hypothesis has never really been put to the test, since the reception of Williams’s book in France remained irregular and full of gaps, while it has nourished research and controversies in the English-speaking world. This study day is a first attempt to (re)launch the debate by adopting a cross-intellectual approach between the “British” and “French” Caribbean and widening the perspective to changing modes and relations of production, forms of work and resistance, from abolition to the neoliberal era in which we live. The aim is to encourage the development of a critique of the political economy that still remains the “poor relation” of contemporary studies of the Caribbean in the French-speaking world.


9h30: Welcome

9h45: Introduction to the study day by Matthieu Renault

10h15-11h: Catherine Hall (Department of History, UCL) – Writing back: from Eric Williams to Edward Long

11h-11h30: Coffee break

11h30-12h15: Caroline Oudin-Bastide (Docteure en histoire et civilisations, EHESS) – Les planteurs sont-il des entrepreneurs capitalistes?

12h15-13h: Jean-Pierre Sainton (AIHP–GEODE, Université des Antilles) – Sur quelques modalités du post-esclavagisme dans les hiérarchies et organisations du travail dans les grands domaines sucriers antillais du début du XXe siècle, à travers les exemples du Galion (Martinique) et de Beauport (Guadeloupe).

13h-14h30: Lunch

14h30-15h15: Jean-Jacques Cadet (Docteur en philosophie, Université Paris 8) – Comment penser le capitalisme en Haïti après la Révolution de 1804?

15h15-16h: Françoise Vergès (Association Décoloniser les arts, commissaire indépendante, autrice) – Race, genre et reproduction sociale dans le capitalisme post-esclavagiste

16h-16h30: Coffee break

16h30-17h30: General discussion led by Jean-Bernard Ouédraogo (LAIOS-IIAC, CNRS-EHESS), with MCTM members (Christine Chivallon, Didier Nativel and Matthieu Renault).


Description translated by Ivette Romero. See the original at «Capitalism and post-slavery», Study days, Calenda, Published on Monday, September 16, 2019,

[Photo: Lightfoot/Getty. Accessed via]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s